It’s occurred to me that making a movie (assuming its successful) of your book is a very effective form of advertisement. The irony, of course, is that your book must almost certainly be a success before anyone would buy the movie rights to it. But, still, I’ve actually bought more books from watching movies than I’ve watched movies for the sake of the book.
I’ve purchased and/or read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Jane Eyre only after having watched a relatively recent movie with the same title. We’re not talking about re-envisioning, as is apparently the case of Clueless, but movies that are somehow directly derived from the movie. Consider A Walk to Remember: in this case (with a little re-envisioning), I loved the movie, then read the book, and I still prefer the movie, because it feels more relevant to the here and now. In the case of more buzz-worthy titles, I have purchased and read all the Twilight books because I watched the movie. Now that I’ve watched the movie version of Divergent, the four books are in my Amazon queue. I watched the movie and I was sold on the books.
There is an advantage to this pattern. If you’ve ever read and loved a book, and then watched the movie, you’ve likely been disappointed by the movie. I’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies and rarely, rarely, rarely am I ever satisfied by the movie. Yes, I used three rarelys precisely because satisfaction is so very rare. In fact, I can only come up with three examples and they’re each part of The Lord of the Rings. Now, those movies did justice to the books! Of course, they had to make them twice as long as a normal movie to do so, which is kind of the point. Rarely can a story that takes up the space of a novel be told in the space of a movie. They almost always have to cut something out and it’s usually something I wanted to see. When you fall in love with a movie before you fall in love with the book, then you can enjoy the enhanced richness of the book without losing your love for the movie.
What do you expect from a movie? What do you expect from a book? Are they different?